Tag: Verse by Verse Bible

ESV Verse by Verse Preaching Bible

ESV Verse by Verse Preaching Bible

Regal. Scholarly. Majestic. Pastoral…pick an adjective and chances are it will fit this Bible perfectly. I refer, of course, to the ESV Verse by Verse Preaching Bible, which Crossway generously provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Crossway did not ask for a positive review just an honest one and my opinions are my own.

 

Click Me for Photos of the ESV Preaching Bible

From Crossway

The ESV Preaching Bible, Verse-by-Verse Edition builds upon the foundational features of the ESV Preaching Bible with a new verse-by-verse format. The primary vision behind this edition was to create a Bible specifically tailored to the task of preaching. To that end, this edition maintains a preacher-friendly layout with each verse on its own line to ensure ease in public and personal reading. This elegant Bible features a highly readable type, enlarged and bolded verse numbers, extra-wide margins, high-quality paper, a durable smyth-sewn binding, and a premium goatskin cover guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Features

  • 9.75-point Lexicon type
  • Single-column, verse-by-verse format
  • High-quality, coated Bible paper
  • Created from the ground up with input from pastors and church leaders
  • Enlarged and bolded verse numbers surrounded by extra space to easily locate verses on the page
  • Presentation page
  • Concordance
  • 2 ribbon markers
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Premium goatskin cover
  • Packaging: Box

Now the Review

Initial Impressions

While I was growing a tad accustomed to Crossway’s offerings (there are only so many alternatives to excellent as adjective of choice and only so many ways to say they are worth investment) Crossway has slapped me out of my lethargy and prompted me to say this to Lauren (my contact at Crossway)

“NOW you have given me the ESV I have been pining for. My first ESV was the Single Column Reference Bible (that first copy was gifted to a new believer). I have a hardbound copy that has been my main ESV but this…this is the ESV I have wanted since I got the SCR. 

As far as I can tell, I will be returning to the ESV and will staying there.”

I very much enjoyed the original ESV Peaching Bible. However my own habits prevented my adoption of is as a preaching Bible; for 24 years I have taught from a Verse by Verse Format and, while I did endure a couple of months using a giant print in another translation, Verse by Verse is the format that I use. Ergo, I am delighted to have this offering from Crossway for my pulpit; it is the ESV I have longed for, I will explain why in the various sections as we go.

Layout

We will go a little out of my usual order and begin with the layout. This is a single column verse by verse format with almost no accoutrements in the text block. You will not find a reference in the text but you will find a few translators footnotes as well as subject headings. The headings are helpful if, like me, you take one section at a time. The margins are easily 1.5” wide and, when I first saw them, I instinctively reached for my pencil (though I am waiting until 2021 to begin the notes). Bolded verse numbers round out the accoutrements and they are the feature that I find most helpful. Much like the large print wide margin, they are very bold and black as midnight making it quite easy to find your place in the text.

Paper and Font

Crossway, as is their custom, gives us a very muted paper-moderately cream colored but very light in its coloration which sets off the red under gold gilding quite nicely. The paper is rather heavy, 32gsm if I had to guess. I would venture to say that most writing implements will work well on the pages of this Bible. I am not sure that I would use an archival pen but that has more to do with me having a heavy hand when writing. In normal cases I do not expect bleed through but always test your writing utensil in the concordance where it will not interfere with the text.

This is a black letter text edition, which is the only acceptable choice. A red-letter edition would interfere so much when taken into the pulpit. It is a deep ebony, coming close to the coloration of a Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar. Even without my bifocals, there is no strain on the eyes, which surprised me quite a bit as the font is only 9.7.

Cover and Binding

If you guessed the binding was sewn, you win! It lays flat quite nicely despite not being sewn super tightly.

The goatskin on the cover is the best that Crossway has offered on a Bible. I have handled many of Crossway’s Heirloom (goatskin) and Top Grain Leather (Calfskin) and have never walked away unsatisfied. I had previously thought that the single column preaching Bible was the best goatskin Crossway had offered but this is somehow better. The pebble grain is very pronounced, exciting every nerve ending in the fingertips.

For preaching

My pulpit stands at 5’10” tall and the Perching Bible performed quite well. I could leave it on the pulpit and read therefrom but I am rather a fidget and have difficulty not walking while I talk. The Preaching Bible is conducive to single handed use being evenly balanced. I can best describe its utility this way: This Bible could easily stand up to the punishment that Charles Stanley inflicts upon a Bible (watch him sometime and you will get the idea).

For 1 on 1 Discipleship and Biblical Counseling

Here is the area where my main Bible gets most of its use outside my home and, I suspect, probably where most other reformed pastors get most of their use as well. The margins are ideal for topical annotations related to counseling, marking out the Romans Road to Salvation and others. It may be a little bigger than what others prefer in their bag but I have never shied away from a large Bible and this one is absolutely perfect for carry and pastoral use in almost every situation.

Compared to my NKJV Preaching Bible

Believe it or not, the NKJV Preaching Bible is not my main NKJV for preaching, the Model 334 Personal Size Giant Print Reference Bible is my main Bible  for preaching. Each has clear advantages but the ESV  squeaks out a win.

Nelson 334 offers a 14-point font and thumb indexing. ESV however, offers more opaque paper, wider margins and a goatskin cover.

In the pulpit, I am rather glad of not having the End of Verse References. I would enjoy thumb indexing but its lack of inclusion is not anything I would complain about.

 

Final Thoughts

There is not really anything left to say. If ESV is your translation of choice, then either of the Preaching Bibles is absolute perfection and the Bible that should be in your pulpit. If it happens that ESV is not your translation of choice…maybe you should rethink that.

 

Nelson Preaching Bible…Nearly Perfect

Nelson Preaching Bible…Nearly Perfect

 

The Preaching Bible from Thomas Nelson is nearly perfect, nearly. There is only one negative in this Bible and I will address is right away so we can move on to what I like about the Bible. It’s missing wide margins. I will deal with that more later.

Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson provided 2 copies, one in NKJV and one in KJV in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review- my opinions are my own.

First, some details from Thomas Nelson

Book Summary

Every detail of the Thomas Nelson Preaching Bible is tailor-made with preaching in mind. With features crowdsourced from actual pastors, the verse-by-verse format, large type, and an edge-lined calfskin binding makes the Preaching Bible ideal for both sermon preparation and pulpit use.

About the Book

Every detail of the Thomas Nelson Preaching Bible is tailor-made with preaching in mind. With features crowdsourced from actual pastors, a flexible calfskin cover, durable sewn binding, and elegant layout, the Thomas Nelson Preaching Bible is the ideal choice for those who have been called to the sacred task of preaching the Word.

Features include:

  • Verse-by-verse layout for easy navigation
  • Thomas Nelson’s exclusive Comfort Print® fonts
  • Premium high-contrast Bible paper
  • Ultra-flexible calfskin binding and durable edge-lined construction
  • 3 satin ribbon markers
  • 11.5-point print size

Translation Choices

The preaching Bible is available in both KJV and NKJV, the most conservative and faithful English translations available. I preached from both enjoyed both. Truthfully, I am very hard pressed to prefer one to the other.

A Side Story about the NKJV

I started teaching Sunday School in 1996 at the age of 14 and I have taught the Bible in various capacities for the last 22 years. Over the course of those years, the Bible that I have used most has been a Thomas Nelson product, model 334, the Giant Print Reference Bible. That Nelson 334 has been with me through 12 years and over 1000 lessons (an irony because I thought the NASB was my favorite) and so, it is the Bible against which all other Nelson Bibles are judged. Time and time again I have marked in that Bible, tossed it in a backpack, left it in the car in Arizona’s unforgiving heat, and it stubbornly holds on; no matter how much I use it, it does not wear out and I love that. I hope to get the same usage out of the Preaching Bible.

Cover

We start with a calfskin cover with edge-lined leather liner. The KJV that I received was brown while the NKJV was black. The leather is not quite ironed but the grain is not very pronounced either. It is very pleasing to the touch though.

The brown calfskin has a very natural look to the color, similar to the natural leather covers from Crossway. I grew up not too far from Amish country and this particular leather coloration is very familiar to me. It brings back fond memories even though I am very partial to the black calfskin.

Page Layout

Nelson really hit a couple of my favorites with this layout. We get a double column, verse by verse format with the references at the foot of the page. This layout is my ideal format for a Bible, especially one that I will take into the pulpit.

Paper, Font and Margins

This paper is absolutely outstanding, possibly the best that I have ever seen in a Thomas Nelson Bible. I would estimate it at a 36-gsm paper. It is very opaque and this is, perhaps, the most important feature in a Bible other than the font used to display the text. You should not have any issues with a highlighter or ball-point pen to mark in this Bible.

My friend and colleague Randy Brown (Bible Buying Guide) loves to rave about the paper and I heartily agree with him. The choice that Nelson made is just right and would be the ideal paper for a wide margin Bible.

The font is Nelson’s Comfort print and it is very easy on the eyes. The font is very crisp and dark. It works well for me in many lighting situations. Unlike most Bibles, I do not have to hold this one close to read from it when preaching, I can let it rest on the pulpit and still see with no issues.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not a wide margin edition and I cannot, for the life of me understand why it isn’t. So many pastors make annotations in their Bibles and with this paper, the Preaching Bible would be the perfect choice for note-making.

Pulpit Use

All of the Bibles that I review get real world usage before the review is written. I am very peripatetic while teaching and this Bible’s design makes it very easy walk around with it while teaching. I did notice an interesting, sort of niggling little detail while using both Bibles- the KJV lays flat with more ease than the NKJV. I have no clue as to why that is the case, it just is.

The only other Bible that has given me as much enjoyment to teach from is my beloved 334 from Nelson (it’s the thumb-indexed one in the photos).

For carry/Field Ministry

I carried both editions daily for ten days. For personal study and devotions, I turned to the KJV edition and for person to person ministry, the NKJV. It is very bright in Arizona and I expected to have some challenges reading in direct sunlight but I did not experience any issues.

Final Thoughts

The best compliment I can give the Preaching Bible is that it has retired my model 334 Giant Print Reference Bible which served for 12 years and 1000+ sermons